Social media is where many people spend their time online. According to Statista, over 3.6 billion people across the globe are using social media. The popularity of social media means, that for business, having a social media presence is no longer an option but an essential.
As social media has grown, new platforms have emerged. As a business owner, trying to have a brand presence on all platforms can require too many resources and too much time. Besides, they aren’t all worth having. One social platform may deliver better results for your business versus another so it’s important to be thoughtful on which platforms you spend your time.
In this article, we will discuss how you can discover what social platforms are best for your business and what audiences use each platform.
There are many social media platforms out there. Simply because one is more popular and has more users than another does not mean that it will be a better network for your business to use.
While considering social media platforms for your business, ask yourself these questions:
Facebook is the biggest and most popular social network with 2.7 billion monthly active users. The platform gives you a huge reach but there is also steep competition as this was one of the first networks that brands started having a presence on.
The users on Facebook see its purpose as a way to stay connected with friends and family so trying to make a hard sale often doesn't work.
The largest age group on the platform is 25-34, accounting for 26.3%. This is slightly older than some of the other, newer networks.
For your business, if you are looking to build relationships, or create a community, this is a great choice. In addition, if your audience is 25+ this may be a platform they frequent more often than for example TikTok.
However, it's important to know that due to a large number of active users, the reach for brands has shrunk over the years. Getting connected with a new audience can be tough and it is not a great platform for generating sales unless you are looking into PPC ads
Twitter is another social media giant with 800 million monthly active users. One of the things many brands love about Twitter is the ability to build communities and participate in conversations.
The nature of the platform lends itself to text, humour, and sharing knowledge, unlike platforms such as Instagram or TikTok, which thrive on visuals.
Twitter is a great way to stay on top of trends and build connections with not only your audience but people in your industry. It is a great place to provide customer service and many brands direct their audience there when they have questions or problems.
You can also use Twitter to share news. If you have product updates coming, are hosting an event, or are launching in a new country, Twitter is the way to let your audience know.
Instagram is another huge social network with over a billion monthly active users. The audience for Instagram is notably more female leaning than Twitter and Facebook. Instagram takes a 57% female, 47% male split whereas Twitter is 32% female and 68% male.
Visuals are what thrive on Instagram. Quality and eye-catching photos, along with an aesthetic and consistent feed will help you pique your audience's interest. Instagram also has Reels (its TikTok competitor) and IGTV (what it was hoping would take on YouTube) which are both video features.
Stories also allow for real-time content to be shared and then disappear after 24 hours. This allows you to share behind the scenes content and build a stronger connection with your audience by showing you are human, not just a company.
Art, food, retail, travel, outdoors and beauty are just a few of the categories that thrive on Instagram as they work well in a visual format. Instagram is also making it easier for you to monetize your account by adding IG shopping, where you can sell products directly through the app.
YouTube is the second largest social network and functions as both a search engine and a social platform. Its audience is for the most part younger than for example Facebook. The largest age group of users is 15-25.
YouTube is a particularly useful platform to have if you are in a service industry. Many of the searches that come through YouTube are for “How To” videos. Lifestyle and educational videos are also popular. YouTube should be seen as a platform you can use to educate your audience. It is not a place for generating sales, but rather building your brand and sharing knowledge.
TikTok has grown enormously in popularity over the past year. Like YouTube, its audience is primarily younger, in the 18-24 range. If you have a product that is aimed at an audience in their teens and early twenties, you may notice that they enjoy video content and have flocked to the platforms that provide it.
Unlike YouTube, TikTok is primarily short-form content. Videos are no longer than 60 seconds with many being much shorter at around 10-15 seconds. They often have much lower production quality than YouTube videos and many take a humorous approach to share information.
LinkedIn is the social media network for “adults.” If you are in a more serious business, and marketing to professionals, this is the network for you. LinkedIn's largest age group of users is 46-55, however, millennials still make up a large part of the platform.
The narrow focus of the content on LinkedIn makes it a little easier to see results and build a network than on some other platforms. People use the platforms for professional networking so much of the content is business based. It is a great platform for sharing in-depth content and presenting yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
If you are a B2B business and looking to generate leads, you will have more success on LinkedIn than on other social platforms.
There is no one size fits all for social media. Different businesses will thrive on different platforms. You need to think about where your audience spends time and the type of content they consume to ensure you are reaching them on the right platform.
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